St. Catherine de Ricci
St Catherine de Ricci.
St Catherine of Ricci was an Italian Dominican Tertiary Sister who wasborn on 23 April 1522 and passed away at the age of 67 on 2nd ofFebruary in 1590. This was after a long illness. She is known as thesaint of the sick and she was declared a saint on the 29th of June in1746.
The major shrine that is dedicated to her is in Prato, Italy. She wasborn Alessandra Lucrezia Ramola de’ Ricci. She was religiously namedCatherine of Siena in 1539 at the age of 12 after she had entered theDominican convent of St Vincent. St Catherine was very prayerful from avery young age and this was initially noted by her stepmother who raisedher after the death of her biological mother.
Call to Duty
She began attending a school run by nuns at the age of 6 or 7 after shewas enrolled by her father who was from a family of known bankers andmerchants. It is there where her zeal for the devotion towards thepassion of Christ was developed. Her aunt was a nun there and shewatched over her and administered her catechesis with the help of othersisters.
She went on to join the Convent of St Vincent at the age of 14, which isa community of sisters who have separated themselves from the rest ofthe society known as the Third Order of St Dominic. This community had astrict regimen of life and that is what was appealing to St Catherine.
Life as a Sister
During her training, she faced a lot of challenges as she would haveecstasies and she would seem like she is sleeping. All this resulted inher dropping plates and food resulting in members of the communitywondering if she was competent enough to be a sister. They alsoquestioned her sanity. These episodes of ecstasies often happened fromThursday noon to Friday 4 pm.
By the age of 30, St Catherine had risen in the ranks to become aprioress, this was because other sisters now had an understanding of herbehavior spiritually. She is believed to have had miraculously held babyJesus during some of her visions.
St Catherine engaged in extreme forms of fasting and other forms ofsacrifice for the souls in purgatory. She is at one point reported tohave appeared hundreds of miles away from where she was physically. Sheappeared in a vision to Philip Neri whom she had maintained a longcorrespondence with.
In her position as a prioress, St Catherine, was an effective andgreatly admired administrator. She was also corresponding with threepeople who were destined to become Popes. St Catherine also had anadvisory role on different topics to bishops, cardinals and Princes asher advice was greatly sought after.
St Catherine gave advice through letters as well as in-person and shewas very effective in her work with her priorities in place. She wasable to provide her services to all social classes and there arethousands of letters available that are evidence of that.
All these celestial experiences began when she was aged 20 and itcontinued for the next 20 years. She served as a prioress for 36 yearsand she was known as a kind and considerate superior who was very gentlewith the sick. She is also known for always being cheerful and merrywith a friendly personality.
Like a Holy person, many people wanted to be close with her as shereceived much attention due to her holiness. She received a lot ofvisitors
St Catherine was able to leave the Catholic church with a hymn ofpassion. That hymn is sung slowly and it used to be sung in Dominicanhouses every Friday of Lent and it is still being sung in many places.
5 Interesting Facts About St. Catherine de Ricci
- St Catherine is believed to have had miraculous visions and
corporeal encounters with Jesus, both the infant and the adult Jesus.
- She is believed to have spontaneously bled with the wounds of the
- A coral ring is reported to have appeared on her finger during
times of deep prayer and this ring represented her marriage to Christ.
- St Catherine is believed to have been mystically married and
united with adult Jesus.
- St Catherine had stigmata which are wounds on those areas that
Jesus had the nails drilled through during his crucifixion.
Prayer to St. Catherine de Ricci
Father, we pray that St. Catherine will continue to influence people onearth to be great spiritual leaders just as she did while here among us.She inspired many people who in turn inspired many others. Give us thegrace to die to ourselves, Lord, that we may be vessels, like Catherine,through whom you reach many. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.